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Helen Koukoutsis / Cicada Chimes

  • Helen Koukoutsis / Cicada Chimes
Cicada Chimes is set over a twenty-four-hour period covering several years in time lapse; it moves from a funeral service in Rookwood, to a honeymoon in Paris, to the morning markets in Serres, Greece, and a church service in Surry Hills. The twenty-four-hour time structure is Helen Koukoutsis’ way of exploring the effects of her father’s death and mother’s grief on her Australian-Greek Orthodox identity. Written with understated humour, these poems smile at the tensions between marriage and motherhood, memory and forgetfulness, and life and death.
‘Poignant, bittersweet memories. A journey from Greece to Australia, to Europe and back into the Ithaca of one’s self. Poems that are lean, stripped to the bones of language with the calm tenacity of Emily Dickinson. Helen Koukoutsis questions tradition, religion, society, academia, her own strengths and frailties as a daughter, sister, wife, mother. And all the while the chimes of the cicadas in Rookwood Cemetery are ringing in her ears, following. Forever.’ - Peter Skrzynecki OAM
‘In her impressive debut collection, Helen Koukoutsis moves among “homes and tables” - from coastal Greece to suburban Australia, across Europe and over the span of literature - to bring us a new poetry of everyday experience. These stories of love and grief are threaded together with vitality and care. Kasseri, cicadas and “thirsting dianthus” crowd together alongside mothers, lovers and daughters. Koukoutsis writes deftly, in sure measure, with Emily Dickinson at one hand and Virginia Woolf at the other.’ - Kate Fagan
978 1 76041 403 0, 72pp




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